What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Speaking for the Silent Ones...Revisited Again !!! (July 2016)

UPDATE 7/31/2016: Today is the 6th anniversary of our receiving this precious gift in our lives.  Just couldn't let the day go by without acknowledging the gift, the giver, and the story behind our sweet "Baby Elva".  In light of this current election year, the reminder to "Speak for the Silent Ones" seems appropriate.  Much has been said in the past year about a woman's right to choose and the rights of an unborn baby to be given the chance to live. It continues to be a serious issue to consider, with the possibility of our next President having the opportunity to select new Supreme Court Judges who could possibly change laws that could make the difference between life and death in the lives of these precious babies.  Please pray about this when you cast your vote. There is so much more at stake than people want to recognize or admit.

This is another repeat of a previous blog...but with another new addition...(*Scroll to bottom for the addition added 7/11/2013)

Originally written July 31, 2010:  Today I received a special gift from a dear friend...even though she is a person *whom I have never had the privilege of meeting in person*...we are dear friends, nonetheless.  My friend Cyndi* is a very gifted person...and one of her many talents is that she creates beautiful baby dolls.  Her dolls are each uniquely created either in memory of or as a special tribute to someone who lives, once lived, or should have lived.

Baby Elva - On the day of her arrival, July 31, 2010

Baby Elva, One Year Later - July 31, 2011-- still such a good baby!!!

Baby Elva Celebrates Her 1st Birthday...
The gift I received is Baby Elva, named in honor of and as a tribute to my Grandma Mursch, known to those who loved her as Elva Hill Mursch.

I am so pleased to share with you Baby Elva's story:

Way back in the year 1895 there was a little baby girl born somewhere in Pennsylvania.  Her birth parentage is uncertain...her ancestry is hidden from our search...we know absolutely nothing about how or where her life began...but we now know that she was born on a snowy frigid December day in the year 1895, and that her birth name was Elva Sowers.  I have recently discovered that a young man named Abraham Lewis Smith, (a relative? the father? an uncle?) actually adopted her and gave her the name of Elva Smith when she was about six months old. The certificate of adoption that has surfaced states that "the welfare of the said minor child will be promoted by such adoption, and that the mother of the child consents thereto." 

We don't know why her mother gave her up for adoption...nor do we have any clue as to why her father or grandparents did not claim her.  What we do know is that Mr. Smith and little Elva somehow ended up as boarders in the home of George and Mary Hill around the year 1900.  Some time after that Mr. Smith decided he could not keep young Elva, and she was consequently adopted by George and Mary, and she was then given the name of Elva Hill.
My Grandmother Elva and
My Grandpa William Mursch
George and Mary Hill could not bear children of their own, and so they gave Elva  a home and loved her as their own. To their credit, they also fostered and adopted several other precious children and gave them the opportunity to live happy and productive lives as well.  Young Elva grew and prospered in rosy health and strength under the tender care of these people...so much so that she lived to be 89 years old, and was the mother to four of her own precious children, including my father, and nine grandchildren...of which I am one. 

Of course this story goes on and on in the lives of all of the current and future generations that have emanated from her life.  We have become a vibrant, healthy, strong family tree...a tree that would not exist if my great-grandmother had not chosen life...if my great-grandfather had not allowed my grandmother to be born and had instead insisted on ending the life of the child he had fathered...whether legitimately or not...we will never know.  What we do know is that she lived, and because she was allowed to live, here I am.

Have you ever thought about where you would be today if your grandparent had been aborted instead of being allowed to live? I have thought about that so many times...and have thanked the mysterious great-grandmother for allowing my Grandma to live.  I know, you are probably thinking that it wasn't like that at all...probably the poor mother was too sick to survive the labor and delivery of her child...that happened a lot back then...but even so, today the "poor mother" would be encouraged to end the life of her unborn "fetus"... the "fetus" would never know the difference..."after all, it's not a human until birth"...so they say... I wonder...what does God say...?  The Psalmist seems to think that God has a different viewpoint...

"For YOU formed my inward parts; YOU covered me in my mother's womb.  I will praise YOU, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are YOUR works, and that my soul knows very well.  My frame was NOT HIDDEN FROM YOU, WHEN I WAS MADE IN SECRET, AND SKILLFULLY WROUGHT IN THE LOWEST PARTS OF THE EARTH. YOUR eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  AND IN YOUR BOOK THEY ALL WERE WRITTEN, THE DAYS FASHIONED FOR ME, WHEN AS YET THERE WERE NONE OF THEM." 
Psalm 139:13-16

Yeah, this is something that I think about a lot.  I know there are many who do not share my thoughts on this subject... But here's one more thing to think about...What would have happened if Mary had decided to abort her illegitimate child, Jesus?  What if Joseph had demanded that she be stoned...or the baby be aborted, because of the possibility of her committing fornication prior to their marriage? Hmmm, now that's something to think about! Yes, abortion certainly has an impact on the whole human race. 
I am so thankful that my Great Grandmother chose life...and that little Elva Sowers Smith Hill lived, was adopted and  grew up to become my Grandmother.

Elva Sowers Smith Hill Mursch.

December 27, 1895- December 16, 1984
My Dad, "Billy" Mursch

The Mursch Children and a neighbor boy
Paul, Bill (my Dad), Ruth, Marion and neighbor
"Elva" (My Grandmother) on a camping trip/hike with her
children: Lto R: Paul Mursch, Billy Mursch(my dad), Ruth Mursch,
Elva Mursch, and Marion Mursch...somewhere in the Adirondack Mtns.
My Grandma Elva Hill Mursch, circa 1950's

Mursch Family 1982 - Grandma Mursch above front right.
Mursch Family 2005
Grandma (Elva), far right, and Grandpa Mursch with their four children
and my mother, when my mother met the family for the first time! Circa 1940
These pictures are only part of the Mursch Family tree...the part coming from my Dad, William F. Mursch's branch of the tree.  Add to that the families from his siblings, and all of their children, and their children's children, and so on and so on...What a big empty space there would have been if my Grandmother Elva had not been allowed to live!
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of the real "Baby Elva", my grandmother, and for all the other precious babies who have been given a second chance to live because their Mamas chose "life" instead of the "easy way out" of a difficult situation. And Lord, for all those sweet and precious little souls who didn't get a chance to live because of the choices made for them...we know they are safe in Your arms today.  We pray for those parents who made those decisions, whether in ignorance or deliberately, that somehow they would find the peace of forgiveness and rest for their own hurting souls. We ask this in Jesus' Name, Amen.

Postscript:  7/11/2013  *I wanted to add this picture to this story...

Earlier this year (2013) I was thrilled and privileged to actually meet in person my
dear friend "Cyndi", the creator "birth mother" of my sweet baby doll "Elva".  Cyndi and 
her wonderful hubby traveled all the way to Florida from Minnesota to meet me and to have 
a reunion with her beautiful baby Elva!  This is a friendship that began on Facebook, and God
has blessed that long distance connection with a true friendship...a precious friend I will always
be thankful for. Doesn't God work in mysterious ways? Yes, He truly does...and He loves to 
bless His children with good things and heavenly joy even here on earth! 
I am blessed beyond measure and I give God the glory.
Great things He has done!!!
"Baby Elva" on her "6th" birthday, 7/31/2016.  Still such a sweet, adorable baby...a precious gift!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Hello, It's Mushy-Headed Me!

Yes, it's me...trying to keep cool in our "lovely pool" in the summer heat. (Ha!! Some things you just have to leave to the imagination.) Pardon the white legs. You may need to put on your sunglasses.  I don't get out in the sun much due to my fair complexion and the high heat.  Try not to laugh too hard.

I thought I'd better post something on my blog before you think I've abandoned it.  No, I haven't gone away...just haven't had much to say.  I went to my doctor for a check up the other day, and I told him I felt kind of "mushy headed"...couldn't think clearly, fuzzy on the brain, feeling fatigued. In addition to finally talking me into taking medication for my extremely high cholesterol level, (after my years of failed attempts to control it by diet and fish oil, etc., you know the routine)  the doctor ordered some lab work to check my thyroid, but not until my next appointment in October. By then I could have a totally moldy brain.   But that's the new protocol apparently for medicare patients...you are only allowed so many appointments per year and lab tests unless it is considered urgent.  I guess I wasn't quite mushy headed enough to warrant an emergency.  Ha.

So, I decided to try and fight through this "purple haze" and write something whether I have anything worth saying or not.  In light of all the turmoil and terror in our world, I would like to try and be positive and offer hope.  How can I do that, when I feel a sense of hopelessness creeping in to my fuzzy mind?  I don't even want to turn on the television anymore for fear of more "breaking news".    

So, this is what I am trying to do to cut through the fuzz:
  • Start each day by reading from God's Word and following a good daily devotional guide.
  • Pray...for my family, friends, our nation and world.
  • Daily look for ways to be thankful for all that God has done for us.  
  • Look for ways to share God's love with others.

  • Find ways to get some exercise and fresh air every day, preferably before the thermometer reaches 95 degrees.  Early morning walks and after supper walks are daily goals. Take photographs of anything interesting along the way.

  • Eat a good healthy diet, avoiding too much cholesterol, sugar, and junk foods.
  • Homemade Ice Cream on the 4th of July is exempt
  • Spend my spare recreational indoor time writing and/or reading good inspirational books or other uplifting articles, rather than watching television or spending too much time on the computer.  
  • Find new ways to exercise my mind by taking on realistic, reasonable projects, puzzles or other creative activities.  
Most of all, in order to restore peace, calm and an uncluttered order to my mind I must fix my eyes on my heavenly Father, the Creator and Sustainer of all life.  

Here is a passage of Scripture that speaks to me...and possibly to you if you can relate to the things I've been discussing above:

II Corinthians 4:15-18

"For all things are for your sakes, 
that grace, having spread through the many, 
may cause thanksgiving to abound
to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart.  
Even though our outward man (or woman) is perishing,
yet the inward man (or woman) is being renewed day by day.

For our light affliction,
which is but for a moment,
is working for us a far more exceeding 
and eternal weight of glory;

While we do not look  at the things
which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.
For the things which are seen are temporary,
but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Perhaps this post speaks to your "mushy head" today as well.  I pray that you will also seek God first and foremost in your life...and that you will NOT LOSE HEART.  

Here's another passage to encourage us along this race of life:

"Therefore we also,
since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 
let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which so easily ensnares us, 
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus,
the Author and Finisher of our faith,
Who for the joy that was set before Him
endured the cross,
despising the shame, 
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2

So who's ready to run this race with me?   Keeping our eyes focused on Jesus as our leader...we will grow stronger and happier every day.  Let's get going and drive away all the fuzzy, mushy heads!  

"I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!"
Philippians 4:13

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July! Some Random Thoughts and Memories - UPDATED 7-4-16

I originally posted this on 7/3/2013.  A lot of things have changed in our lives since that Independence Day three years ago.  But some things have not changed and hopefully never will.  We still gather with whatever family and friends we can bring together to celebrate the holiday, holding fast to as many of the old family traditions as we can.  I am so thankful that we still have that freedom in our country...and I pray we never lose the freedoms that we hold most precious.  This is a presidential election year, and it  would appear that a lot of those freedoms and rights are being tested and tried in our country's midst.  We need to pray for our nation as we make decisions that will affect our future generations in ways that could mean a great loss of many freedoms that we take for granted right now.  

Original Post 7/3/2013 (with a few additional current pictures and comments):

I know you may not understand why I am posting a picture of a doll for the 4th of July, but that's okay. You don't have to understand. I just wanted to take her picture all dressed up for the holiday! This is my "Margie Doll", named after my Aunt Margie, who gave the beautiful doll to me for my 7th birthday! I won't tell you how old that makes my Margie Doll. Let's just say that she would qualify for a senior discount at most restaurants.

The Original "Margie"...My Aunt Margaret Tedlie Moss a  "real doll"!
I don't know how I found such favor in the sight of my sweet Aunt Margie to receive such a wonderful gift for my seventh birthday, but as you can see, it is a gift I have treasured.  My mother actually made the dress that my Margie doll is wearing.  She also made her a couple of other dresses that she wears for other occasions. (Click for picture of Margie in her Christmas Dress, with her friend "Valerie", another special doll)
(see the Page "A Few of My Favorite Things")

Here is a picture of my wonderful Mother, all decked out for the 4th of July also:
My Mother, Always the patriot!!

This is one of my favorite pictures of my mother, Dorothea Tedlie Mursch, waving her flag proudly on the 4th of July! I sure do miss her.

Tomorrow (2016- we already did on 7/2/16! Couldn't wait!)  we will celebrate the 4th of July in the traditional family manner...we will have a gathering of some friends and family, bar-b-que some chicken, eat potato salad, deviled eggs, baked beans, and all the other good stuff that goes along with that...and then we will make homemade ice-cream, following my mother's recipe.(Click on link to go to "It's Recipe Thyme-some of My Mother's Recipes" , and then scroll down on the page until you come to the recipe.

Yes, holidays and birthdays have always been special occasions in our family.  I am so thankful to have grown up in such a family.  Here are some pictures from some of our 4th of July memories from the past.  These are pretty special to me, as now my Daddy is in heaven, and so is our son Matthew.
Our son Matthew, 7/4/2009
My sweet Daddy, 7/4/2009, with my brother in law Art assisting

My grand-niece Sarah, my brother in law Art, brothers Russell and Clifford

My grand-nephew Jack, 7/4/2009

Our grandson Noah - 7/4/2009

I come by my doll interests honestly...my mother loved dolls too...so that is another family "tradition" passed down to me.

This is my "Baby Elva" doll, all dressed up for the holiday  (7/4/2016)

I guess you could say that I am just an old fashioned girl.
yeah, that's me, "several" years ago, dressed up
like an old fashioned girl
 I like doing things the way we did when I was growing up.  I enjoy carrying on the family traditions, playing with my dollies, dressing up for fun, having tea parties, acting silly, laughing and enjoying life with my family and friends. I also look forward to sharing these thoughts with you, because you are my special friends.  Many of you may never actually visit with me in person, but we share many wonderful treasures of memories and dreams together through our journals and daily posts. (weekly, monthly, whatever, whenever!)

So thank you for indulging me this evening while I allowed you a little glimpse into my childish heart. You know, Jesus said

"Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)

In another place He said, 

"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." 
(Matthew 19:14)

I know He didn't mean that we should play with dolls and act childish, but He was speaking of the faith and humility of a little child...that we should trust in God like a child, and not worry ourselves about things over which we have no control. We ought to: 

"become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain." (Philippians 2:15-16)

Some final words to us personally as we celebrate our independence as a nation in a time of great turmoil and anxiety and disappointment in our current national and world situation:

"Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men.  The Lord is at hand.  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:4-7
Amen...and Have a Blessed and Happy 4th of July!

These pictures are from our 2016 celebration (we celebrated on 7/2/16 this year)

My sister Doris and my son Benton, getting the ice cream maker ready
to "crank"...we cheat now and use the electric motor...

My niece Debbie and her hubby Darrell enjoying a sweet moment

Me with my sister Doris...carrying on the family traditions

Here's the finished product!

Doris says it is perfect!

Taking out the dasher...and sampling the goods!

That first spoon full off the dasher is the best ever!

My 93 year old mother in law Nanny Steiner says it is delicious!

Some more of the family enjoying the wonderful treat!

Son Benton

That's my grand-nephew Jack...much bigger than the earlier picture above in 2009

My son Scott...

My niece Debbie

My sister Doris with a BIG spoon full!

And saving the "best for last" ( Ha - ha) Yours truly!

Happy Independence Day!